Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Current Unemployment Rate In The Us

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A Strengthening Labor Market Brings Improvements For All Groups Though Disparities Remain

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By Kyle K. Moore

EPI analyzes state unemployment rates by race and ethnicity, and racial/ethnic unemployment rate gaps, on a quarterly basis to generate a sample size large enough to create reliable estimates of unemployment rates by race and ethnicity at the state level.

We report estimates only for states for which the sample size of these subgroups is large enough to create an accurate estimate. For this reason, the number of states included in our maps and data tables varies based on the analysis performed. The following analysis contains data on the first quarter of 2022 and the fourth quarter of 2021.

Us Unemployment Rates By Year

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has measured unemployment since the stock market crash of 1929.

Gross domestic product is the measure of economic output by a country. When the unemployment rate is high, there are fewer workers. That could lead to less economic output and a lower rate of GDP.

When inflation rises, the prices of goods and services go up, making them more expensive. If there is a high rate of unemployment at the same time, this could cause issues for those without an income since they may be struggling to afford basic necessities.

The following table shows how unemployment, GDP, and inflation have changed by year since 1929. Unless otherwise stated, the unemployment rate is for December of that year. Unemployment rates for the years 1929 through 1947 were calculated from a different BLS source due to current BLS data only going back to 1948. GDP is the annual rate and inflation is for December of that year and is the year-over-year rate.


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What Is The Relationship Between Initial Claims And The Unemployment Rate And Why Might It Be Different Now

The number of people receiving UI and the number counted as unemployed do tend to move in the same direction, but there is no formal link between the two. The only criteria for being counted as unemployed are that you are without a job and that you have actively searched for work or are on temporary layoff. You dont need to be collecting unemployment insurance to be counted as unemployed. And some people are eligible to collect partial unemployment insurance benefits if they are working but have been assigned a schedule that is far below their usual weekly hours.

Many people who become unemployed do not apply for UI benefits, either because they are not eligible or because they choose not to apply. So initial claims typically understate the number of people becoming unemployed in a given week. That said, there are people who file an initial claim and are not counted as unemployed in the CPS. This could happen if a person doesnt meet the CPS criteria for being unemployedfor instance, if they file for UI because their work schedule was reduced, or if the person has a very short spell of unemployment which is not captured in the CPS .

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Government As The Employer Of Last Resort

The government could also become the employer of last resort, just as central banks are the lenders of last resort. A job guarantee would maintain labor market stability and could establish full employment. This would introduce a shock absorber into the labor market. Full employment might also gain wider support among the electorate than a basic income policy.

Jobs Created By Presidential Term


Job creation is reported monthly and receives significant media attention, as a proxy for the overall health of the economy. Comparing job creation by President involves determining which starting and ending month to use, as recent Presidents typically begin in January, the fourth month into the last fiscal year budgeted by their predecessor. Journalist Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post explained in 2020 that economists debate which month to use as the base for counting job creation, between either January of the first term or February. The Washington Post uses the February jobs level as the starting point. For example, for President Obama, the computation takes the 145.815 million jobs of February 2017 and subtracts the 133.312 million jobs of February 2009 to arrive at a 12.503 million job creation figure. Using this method, the five Presidents with the most job gains were: Bill Clinton 22.745 Ronald Reagan 16.322 Barack Obama 12.503 Lyndon B. Johnson 12.338 and Jimmy Carter 10.117. Four of the top five were Democrats.

Writing in The New York Times, Steven Rattner compared job creation in the last 35 months under President Obama with the first 35 months of President Trump . President Obama added 227,000 jobs/month on average versus 191,000 jobs/month for Trump, nearly 20% more. The unemployment rate fell by 2 percentage points under Obama versus 1.2 points under Trump.

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Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate Chart 1948

Current US Unemployment Rate Chart

Unemployment is below several previous lows of 1960, 1973, 1979, 1989, and 2006-7. This means that unemployment is no longer extraordinarily bad, i.e., the red zone and has entered the green zone in the chart above. Interestingly, this may be a factor in increasing inflation pressures.

Before the COVID-19 spike, February 2020s 3.5% Seasonally Adjusted U-3 unemployment levels were excellent, i.e., just a hair above the 1969 lows of 3.4%. The only break below 3.4% was all the way back in 1953 . The COVID worldwide spike took unemployment to unprecedented high levels, but unemployment is now back within the excellent range.

Demographics And Employment Trends

Employment trends can be analyzed by any number of demographic factors individually or in combination, such as age, gender, educational attainment, and race. A major trend underlying the analysis of employment numbers is the aging of the white workforce, which is roughly 70% of the employment total by race as of November 2016. For example, the prime working age white population declined by 4.8 million between December 2007 and November 2016, roughly 5%, while non-white populations are increasing. This is a major reason why non-white and foreign-born workers are increasing their share of the employed. However, white prime-age workers have also had larger declines in labor force participation than some non-white groups, for reasons not entirely clear. Such changes may have important political implications.

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New Hampshire Unemployment Rate

New Hampshire has a long history as a manufacturing state, specifically with the production of paper and grain. As the use of mills began to decline over the 20th century, the Granite State turned to more traditional manufacturing. Although modern manufacturing has become far more high-tech, it still remains the biggest sector of New Hampshires economy.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:

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Us Unemployment Rate History

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The unemployment rate is the percentage of people in the labor force who are looking for a job but cannot find one. In the United States, the unemployment rate is calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics . The BLS surveys households to determine who is employed, who is unemployed, and who is not in the labor force. The unemployment rate does not include people who are not looking for a job, such as students or stay-at-home parents. Nor does it include those who are incarcerated or running their own business.

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Fed Leading Indicator Shows Unemployment Rate Is Poised To Pick Up

While the unemployment rate ticked down again, a leading indicator suggests it is set to increase in coming months. If so, that will put pressure on the equity market.

The index, created by Merk Investments Nick Reece, tracks the z-scores of six indicators that tend to predict trends in the unemployment rate. Those indicators are payroll growth, initial and continuous jobless claims, capacity utilization and ISM manufacturing and the job components in the consumer confidence survey.

The index bottomed earlier last year and has been rising ever since, driven by slower payroll growth and declines in ISM manufacturing.

To be sure, there were false alarms in the past, such as in 2018-2019. Still, the Feds intention is to slow wage growth to curb inflation.

If the labor market doesnt cool, the Fed will have to tighten more. Until the Fed succeeds, the equity market is likely to stay under pressure.

Effects Of Healthcare Reform

CBO estimated in December 2015 that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would reduce the labor supply by approximately 2 million full-time worker equivalents by 2025, relative to a baseline without the law. This is driven by the law’s health insurance coverage expansions plus taxes and penalties. With access to individual marketplaces, fewer persons are dependent on health insurance offered by employers.

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Given The Measurement Problems During The Pandemic Are There Alternatives To The Bls Indicators Of Slack To Gauge The Health Of The Labor Market

Some economists have offered their own estimates of labor market slack trying to account for the misclassification and unusual movements in labor force participation during the pandemic. For example, Jason Furman and Wilson Powell III at the Peterson Institute for International Economics calculate what they call the realistic unemployment rate. Their realistic unemployment rate was 8.3 percent in January, two percentage points higher than the official unemployment rate. Furman and Powells realistic unemployment rate differs from the official in two ways. First, they estimate the number of workers misclassified as being not at work for other reasons and count them as unemployed. Second, they try to estimate the excess decline in labor force participation beyond what would be expected given the rise in unemployment, and add those people to the unemployment rate as well. While this estimate is dependent on the specific modeling assumptions, it is nonetheless a useful attempt to reveal the extent to which we underestimate the true disruption to peoples livelihoods if we fail to account for the unusually large drop in labor force participation.

New York Unemployment Rate

Us Unemployment Rate May 2020

If youve either visited the Big Apple or called it home, its easy to think everyone in the U.S. lives there. However, although NYC does have the largest population of any U.S. city, New York itself is only the fourth most populous state. Even so, many significant industries in N.Y.such as financial servicesare based primarily in the Big Apple. Regarding the latter, NYC is the home of Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange, currently the worlds largest stock market.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:

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What The Current Unemployment Rate Means For You

When businesses are hiring, wages rise and fewer people are unemployed. Thats seemingly good news for you and your wallet. But that might not necessarily be the case.

Because there are so few unemployed people, employers have to compete even harder to attract employees and get staffed up. That means pay risesbut inflation comes along for the ride. Inflation is makes gas, groceries, and nearly anything else you want to buy way more expensive.

The Unemployment Rate Rose Markedly For Those With Less Education

Among workers ages 25 and older, jobless rates across all education levels spiked to their highest point ever following the onset of the pandemic in the second quarter of 2020 .11 Unemployment rates for people with less than a high school diploma and for high school graduates reached 19.0 percent and 14.9 percent, respectively, in the second quarter of 2020. For those with some college or an associate degree, and those with a bachelors degree and higher, jobless rates in the second quarter were 13.0 percent and 7.5 percent, respectively.

Although these measures improved after the second quarter, they remained about twice as high in the fourth quarter of 2020, as compared with a year earlier. The jobless rate for people with less than a high school diploma was 9.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020, 4.1 percentage points higher than a year earlier. The unemployment rate for high school graduates with no college degree and for those with some college or an associate degree increased by a similar amount over the year . The rate for those with a bachelors degree and higher increased by 2.1 percentage points over the year, reaching 4.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020. As has historically been the case, jobless rates for those with higher levels of education remained well below the rates for those with less formal education.

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How Has The Us Unemployment Rate Been Under Biden

Under Bidens presidency, the U.S. unemployment rate has continued to come down and was 4.2 percent in November. The economic stimulus announced by Trump, and then the Biden administrations continued aid helped propel a recovery in the U.S. job market.

One concerning aspect of the U.S. labor market has been the low labor force participation rate. Simply put, the labor force participation rate tells us how many adults above the age of 16 are either working or actively looking for a job.

Today, we have incredible news that our unemployment rate has fallen to 4.2% a level experts didnt expect us to achieve until 2024. Weve created 588,000 jobs per month on average this year a record. America is back to work, and our jobs recovery is going strong.

South Carolina Unemployment Rate

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Trade, transportation, and utilities make up the largest sector in South Carolina by employment, comprised of more than 430,000 jobs. Despite this, finance, insurance & real estate is the most profitable industry in the Palmetto State, in terms of GDP. While not the largest workforce, manufacturing in South Carolina still accounts for approximately 248,000 employees.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Current unemployment: 3.3

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How To Use The Unemployment Rate

Keep in mind that the unemployment rate is a lagging indicator. It tells you what has already happened, since employers only lay off workers after business slows down.

Companies resist hiring new workers when a recession is over, until they can be sure that the economy will stay strong. The economy could improve for months, and the recession could be over before the unemployment rate drops. It’s not suitable for predicting trends, but it’s useful for confirming them.

A03 Nsa: Employment Unemployment And Economic Inactivity For Men Aged From 16 To 64 And Women Aged From 16 To 59

Employment, unemployment and economic inactivity for men aged from 16 to 64 and women aged from 16 to 59 . The employment and inactivity rates shown in this table were the headline employment and inactivity rates until August 2010, when ONS replaced these headline rates with rates for those aged from 16 to 64 for both men and women. These new headline rates for those aged from 16 to 64 are shown in Table A02 NSA. These estimates are sourced from the Labour Force Survey, a survey of households.

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Difference Between The Unemployment And Jobs Reports

The unemployment rate and figures from the jobs report don’t always tell the same story, because they are taken from two different surveys.

The unemployment rate is taken from the household survey of individuals. It describes who is employed and who isn’t based on their responses.

The number of jobs added is taken from the establishment report, more commonly called the “nonfarm payroll report.” This survey of businesses describes how many jobs were created or lost by industry.

The number of unemployed doesn’t match the number of jobs lost, because these reports are taken from completely different sources. Those discrepancies are expected, and the estimates are revised each month as more data comes in.

How Does The Us Determine The Unemployment Rate

Us Unemployment Rate 2020 / What The Historically Low U S Unemployment ...

The U.S. determines the unemployment rate by dividing the unemployed individuals by the total number of individuals in the labor force. This is then converted into a percentage. How the U.S. determines the âlabor forceâ and âunemployedâ varies. The labor force, for example, only includes those who are employed or unemployed and seeking employment.

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Previous Record Low Unemployment Rates

If we consider anything 4% or below as low we have had a few low stretches, as shown in the table below.

4.022 5,080,000

Note: Due to COVID restrictions, employment dropped rapidly in 2020, but then employment rebounded. If we compare current employment levels to those prior to COVID , we see Unadjusted U-6 is -1.0% below what it was in February 2020. And Unadjusted U-3 is -0.5% below what it was in February 2020. The number of people employed is 2.1 million higher, but the Civilian Population is also 4.728 million higher.

* Population control adjustments to the CPS adjusted .

**Due to the BLS syncing its data with the census bureau, which happens once a year and can be a huge change, so that doesnt really mean that all of the increase or decrease occurred during January.

Read more about how Employment and Unemployment numbers compare.

*Note: January 2017 is the first time since we have been tracking the Civilian Population that we have seen a decrease. January 2016 saw an increase of 461,000. The BLS says that they readjust their numbers every January to match the Census Bureau numbers.

**Note: January 2019, 2020 & 2021 all showed a decrease not on an annual basis but on a monthly basis, as the numbers reported last month are adjusted to correspond to the Census Bureau data.

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